Are the Catacomb games worth getting?

Sodaholic said:

Because you keep your score even if you die (and it also makes 1-ups useful to spend to get more points when doing levels over). Of course, that is if you care about points at all, and most people these days don't seem to give a shit about points.

you lose all your weaponry, though, and the default load you get from starting a level is one pistol and eight, EIGHT bullets. it's kind of a big deal if the level is, say, swarming with SS and officers. granted, you lose everything in vanilla Doom, too, but the enemies aren't so murderous there, and you don't start with eight fucking bullets.

i didn't know about the score, though. does that mean that all points you've accumulated thus far in the level you're in are still there when you die? because that'd be a mighty fast way to get a hi-score... not that there is much point for one in Wolfenstein 3D.

and yes, about the Catacombs TC as well. it could definitely do with a loving makeover.

Share this post


Link to post

They would be worth, if someone made a source port and combine it with zdoom source code like ECWolf did, then someone could make mods or addons that could enhance it.
Other than that i don't think it is worth that much, due to the mazes, which can get frustating very fast.

Share this post


Link to post

Well, they might one day be supported by ECWolf itself. Not a priority (Mac Wolf, Blake Stone, and Rise of the Triad come first) but a definite possibility.

Share this post


Link to post

Does it even treat assets the same way? It's been a long time since I've seen the files.

Share this post


Link to post

 

On 4/10/2012 at 0:16 PM, printz said:

Of course it's very hard to ever find these games anywhere, they seem to be forgotten. But if I find them anyway, hopefully legally (though I don't know if I'd support the creators if I bought them now), are they worth my time? I played the Abyss demo, and it looked like a nice action-RPG. I was put off by the bad graphics (bright EGA, and bad FOV angle) and the ancient engine (no DOSBox back then), so I didn't get too far. I found the monsters damn cool and menacing looking. Does the game advance well, though?

Also, as an alternative, does Shadowcaster offer similar gameplay, on a better engine? Is it easier to find than Catacomb?

 

In my opinion, no. Unlike Wolfenstein 3D, they haven't aged very well at all. Try the shareware out before committing to purchase. 

Edited by Ajora

Share this post


Link to post

This thread hasn't been updated for a while, so here's some useful info for anyone interested:

 

Catacomb series games are available at GOG.com:

https://www.gog.com/game/catacombs_pack

 

You can get the shareware version of The Catacomb Abyss here, and the original Catacomb game (the top-down shooter one) is actually freeware, available here.


Furthermore the first-person Catacomb games can be played natively in Windows and other modern platforms thanks to the source port/recreation called Reflection Keen. Yeah, it also includes a Keen Dreams port because apparently this game shares some code base with Catacombs stuff.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post

While they haven't really aged all that well. I did enjoy them quite a bit back in the day.

Share this post


Link to post

Well... what little I saw: vanilla Doom doesn't have enemies clawing up from the ground as in Catacombs, and it didn't have patrolling enemies as in Wolfenstein3D. This alone does a lot for immersion. You could argue ad infinitum if either play mechanic is done right so I won't venture into that territory. Enginewise vanilla Doom looks the "best" but it lacks these two immersion factors which I believe would have have made it even better.

 

My 2 cents.

Share this post


Link to post

I have only played The Catacomb Abyss, and I quite liked the diversity of enemies and level themes. Almost every level has a different feel to it, and the monsters in it correspond to the theme. Of course, this is balanced against pretty hard limits of Wolf3D-esque level architecture, but the gameplay is overall quite varied to not become boring quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎30‎-‎9‎-‎2017 at 4:19 PM, NeedHealth said:

enemies clawing up from the ground as in Catacombs

This feature is exploited even better half way the Catacomb Abyss, in the Ancient Aqueduct level. This level is covered in water and there are surprise attacks from enemies who hide under the surface. The enemies can be spotted when tiny bubbles are closing in on the player. It's a nice gameplay element for a game with such limited technology. Although it would have worked more effectively if the enemies would do more damage.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Arno said:

This feature is exploited even better half way the Catacomb Abyss, in the Ancient Aqueduct level. This level is covered in water and there are surprise attacks from enemies who hide under the surface. The enemies can be spotted when tiny bubbles are closing in on the player. It's a nice gameplay element for a game with such limited technology. Although it would have worked more effectively if the enemies would do more damage.

oh yeah the Aqueduct was a cool level, Doom and Strife had water but Dark Forces by LucasArts had that sewer level with submerged enemies too, probably one of the best sewer levels in any game ever... which reminds me of the swamp creatures in Hexen. Sewers is an easy theme to go to for atmosphere because all the elements are ready there, water+dark+spooky SFX no problem. 

 

I found catacombs after wolf3d and SoD were already out, but it was basically Skyrim to Wolf3d so that was cool. Potions and stuff. The hand/weapon drawing is bothersome/oddly implemented but finding out that you shoot the walls to make them explode and open secrets was pretty rad. The boss fights or maybe the secret levels had to do with opening large quadrants of the level with exploding walls and they were packed with ogres. Catacomb must've been inspired by Gauntlet and early 3d adventure games. Some late stages were almost like slaughter maps where it's just like "huge packs of enemies you chip away at" with your attacks. 

Share this post


Link to post

Don't forget the time-freezing powerup. It's always fun to plant those multiple fireballs in the path of frozen enemies which then all strike in rapid succession once the time flow is restored to normal.

Share this post


Link to post

Catacomb Abyss is worth a play in my opinion. It's kind of like a more polished version of the original Catacomb 3D. I recently played through the other episodes; I'd only ever played Abyss before. They're essentially "more of the same" although the developers were clearly trying to keep it fresh and try new things (wandering around graveyards only stays fun for so long). 

 

Catacomb Apocalypse in particular (the last game) has this time travel plot where you travel to the future and are fighting robot clerics or whatever. It's deeply strange and kind of shows they were really running out of ideas for what to do. There's one level where every wall is an animated fire texture. It was the last episode and I can't imagine what they would possibly have done if they'd done another of them.

 

Abyss is shareware so I think you can just play it legally. Give it a try because it's by no means a bad game. I was curious what the other episodes were like and whether I was missing out on something by not having played them but it turns out I wasn't.

Share this post


Link to post
8 minutes ago, fraggle said:

There's one level where every wall is an animated fire texture.

Oh God, the geniuses, they did it. I never played that one so no knowledge of this was known to me, alas!

 

FIREBLU before fireblu, but the only thing missing is blue color? Maybe this could've saved the project if they had this true secret of Doom's longevity?

 

Hm, hard to foresee the outcome of such a turn of events, based on CMYK it would be like FIRECYAN I guess? that's a separate kettle of fish

Edited by reflex17
1 person likes this

Posted (edited)

Share this post


Link to post

This is a screenshot of the fire level I took when I played through it. I have to imagine it seemed better on paper when they were planning the game out.

START.EXE 2017-02-25 at 11.20.17 PM.png

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post

THE FLOOR OH. THE FLOOR. sweet screen shot... the enemies being the same color too is just WOW MAN

 

I mean it makes sense I guess having the floor white and the ceiling black in this case if your walls are essentially a fire gradient, but just OH.. OH. I am actually thankful the HUD takes up a lot of room here :D

Edited by reflex17

Posted (edited)

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now